After sitting down in my seat, eagerly awaiting Captain America: The First Avenger, I noticed a family two rows down that included a grandfather-aged man wearing a Captain America t-shirt and a tow-headed grandson-aged boy wearing a similar shirt and carrying what appeared to be a popcorn bowl shaped like Captain America's shield. There was also a family in the row in front of me, only this little bastard had a fuckin' mohawk on his head, so I guess that hairstyle is acceptable with today's youth; I'll bet you the proverbial dollars to the proverbial donuts that Mohawk Boy is a fuckin' asshole to his fellow boy at school. I felt even more certain of this feeling after seeing his father (he of the High & Tight haircut, yet probably never served a goddamn day in the military) put his disgusting and most likely unwashed bare feet up on the seat in front of him, proudly displaying his stupid ankle tattoo -- a bitch tattoo, if you ask me -- while he stretched his legs out and clenched his toes whenever he laughed. He laughed a lot.
Then an entire group of about 10 to 15 very well-behaved Asian children appeared, all wearing blue t-shirts with a school logo on them, all genuinely happy to be there; they were led by a man who was trying to get enough seats for them to sit down. I realized he could get damn near the entire row if I gave up my seat (as well as the seat reserved for my friend Mr. Large Popcorn Bag), so I gave them up and he seemed very appreciative -- and so was I, for that matter, because now it meant that I had an excuse to leave and exchange my ticket for the next showing a half-hour later (where I can probably get a better seat) and I guess I pretty much wasted your time and mine by writing about this.
Soon I was in a smaller theater with a surprisingly childless crowd and I guess Jesus decided to love me a little more that day because a group of tall, athletic and mostly blonde girls in what I'm guessing were college volleyball uniforms showed up and sat in my row, probably because they thought I was harmless and/or gay. That's where it starts and ends by the way, this isn't a fuckin' Penthouse Forum entry, unless you count what I did after the movie once I got home as a result of sitting next to that many short shorts and exposed legs, which in that case would make it The Saddest (And Most Believable) Penthouse Forum Entry Ever.
Anyway, it turned out that there were even more Girls Of Indeterminate Sport, only they were in the auditorium next door watching No Strings Attached 2: Friends With Benefits -- basically it was a split decision over who to swoon over: Chris Evans or that guy from The Social Network who didn't think a million dollars was cool. A billion dollars, on the other hand...
So, the movie, yes, the movie; Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the early 40's during Dubya Dubya Too and focuses on this five-foot-nothing/hundred-and-nothing proto-Rudy with shit to prove; he's not happy with his fragile frame and litany of medical conditions sparing him from getting his nuts blown off over in another country, he still wants to fight for the Stars & Stripes.
Steve Rogers, he's called, and he's very likable during this part of the movie, probably because of that whole underdog thing he's got going for him. Plus, he will actually go out into the alley and go toe-to-toe with some piece-of-shit who kept talking in a movie theater -- sure, it was less about this asshole talking and more about WHAT he was talking about (talking mad shit over a newsreel about dead soldiers), but still, when you get down to it, Rogers was willing to try to beat this fuck to teach him to shut the fuck up at the cinema.
Anyway, because it's a movie based on a comic book, Rogers becomes the test subject to Stanley Tucci's super-serum that ends up turning him into a super-soldier, allowing Rogers to do super-soldier stuff like hocking war bonds and fake punching Fake Hitler while a bunch of current hot chicks/future old ladies dance around him on the stage. Eventually he gets to own the occasional Kraut in combat and it's interesting that you rarely (if ever) see a swastika or even hear the word "Nazi" that often in this movie, in fact, the bad guys in this movie aren't even the Nazis, but an offshoot group called Hydra.
That was a tad disappointing; I mean, if that's how it is in the comic book, then fine, but I kinda liked the idea of Captain America not so much being The First Avenger as maybe The First Inglourious Basterd -- or at least The First Guantanamo Bay Guard -- but who knows, maybe Hollywood didn't want to risk losing all that potential Neo-Nazi ticket money by pissing off all the skinhead'd, Jew-hating, anti-diversity, White Power-believing asshole audience members who just want to have a good time and watch a superhero kick ass but not at their expense because c'mon, we're all human beings here, we have rights -- but more importantly, we have feelings.
Well, Nazi or not, the main villain is still pretty scary/impressive; Red Skull is his name (actually it's some Kraut name, but who gives a shit) and he's played by Hugo Weaving doing a typically awesome job. The make-up effects are fantastic too, even though I wonder if Red Skull really hates allergy season; I mean, he has no nose (a Saigon whore bit it off, I reckon) but that gaping cavity is still there and that shit can get messy right quick. Whatever, that's his problem, not mine, so fuck that guy.
Red Skull's accent reminded me of Jurgen Prochnow, which then reminded me of how frustratingly disappointed I was with The Keep, which then reminded me of the story I heard about how Michael Mann supposedly screened 3 different cuts of Collateral in 3 separate auditoriums during the premiere and the one that got the best response was the one that was released into theaters the following weekend, and even if that isn't true, it sure as fuck feels true, knowing that wacky talented constantly re-editing bastard. But I digress.
I'm comparing this flick to one of director Joe Johnston's previous films (the one I'm pretty sure got him this job), The Rocketeer. In that one, there was no mistake whatsoever who the bad guys were -- those fuckin' Heil Hitler-ing cocksuckers (in Captain America, they go "Heil Hydra!" and use both arms in their salute, because they are twice as evil and strong, I guess). This was the same movie where a fuckin' bad scary gangster declares out loud that he might be a murdering, thieving, criminal piece-of-shit (I'm paraphrasing here), but he's still an American and next thing you know he's standing side-by-side with a G-man, blasting tommy guns at those Nazi motherfuckers. America Fuck Yeah!
But I guess nowadays it ain't so cool to ride the Proud To Be An American wave, lest you look like some cracker asshole who calls any Middle Easterner a "towelhead" (or "pamperhead", if you're the delightful Sir Larry The Cable Guy, OBE), which is too bad, really. Now we have to be downright Canadian about our American patriotism; in the last Superman movie they tried to be cute as they worked their way around that "Truth, justice, and the American way" line because God Forbid, right?
As for this flick, they try to slightly de-Fuck Yeah the proceedings and make it a tad more palatable to the America-haters by doing things like making the creator of the super-serum a German dude who is sooo not down with the Third Reich, and by having the hot chick in this movie a Brit; there's a scene where one recruit gives the Brit chick some shit for being from another country, and her response is to deck the motherfucker -- this is basically the filmmakers telling any dissenters in the audience to shut their goddamn mouths and just enjoy the movie.
I said "slightly de-Fuck Yeah the proceedings", though, because the filmmakers still manage to fill the movie with plenty of American flags while being sneakily P.C. about it all, and I'm sure the Pacifica Radio crowd will still find plenty to bitch about. Anyway, Cap doesn't go it alone on these missions, he has a team of colorful characters to assist him and they're basically a rainbow coalition of badasses; you have this Asian guy who seems pretty well-adjusted for someone who probably has a family currently interned in some camp while he fights for the country that put them there, you have the token Black guy who is thrilled to be able to drink in mixed company but has no idea that the brothas back home are being guinea pig'd with syphilis by Uncle Sam, you have a French guy (of course, he doesn't speak English) who in a few years will get the memo from his fellow Frenchies that he's supposed to hate Americans, and then you have a couple of White guys who are loving life because it's the mid-20th century and they're a couple of White guys. By casting these various types, the filmmakers show us the real America -- diverse yet united in a love for this country and a hatred of all Nazis and wetbacks (there's no raza in this flick).
The chick in this movie, she's fit, yo; apparently many a fellow Interneter agrees with me because the name Hayley Atwell has been among the top searches on Yahoo and most likely The Google. I liked the relationship between her and Steve Rogers, because I found it very truthful to Real Life; see, she knew him when he was the skinny/scrawny Steve Rogers, and during that time, she was nice to him and you can tell she liked his personality but it's not until he goes from Boy to Man and shows up all pumped up that he not only becomes Captain America but The Captain Of Her Heart as well. Hell, the first time she sees him, she can't even restrain herself from wanting to touch his buff chest. It made me wonder what would happen if halfway through the movie Rogers lost his powers and became Clark Kent again -- you know what would happen, she'd be off of his jock and on to another guy, like Tony Stark's fondue-loving father with the pedo-stache (back then, those were just regular mustaches).
It's not The Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever Made, but then again in retrospect, neither were most of the comic book movies of the past 10 years (didn't stop the critics from saying that shit though); it's a solid flick, with good action and drama -- ultimately a fine way to spend an afternoon and get some air-conditioning without feeling guilty about it afterwards. But apparently it didn't make that great of an impression on me because I can't think of anything else to say about it. Let's see, I talked about Red Skull, Chris Evans, Brit McHottie, Joe Johnston -- oh, OK, I know what to say now.
I think Joe Johnston was the perfect choice for this movie, because in addition to the indisputable fact that he directed the indisputably awesome The Muthafuckin' Rocketeer, he's also great with giving his best flicks an infectious Gee Whiz vibe to them. I mean, shit man, in the Sincerity department, Steven Spielberg almost comes off like a cynical hipster compared to Johnston when he's unleashed without his meds (which is very rare, unfortunately). Even that fuckin' digital Panavision Genesis cinematography can't tarnish the fuckin' nostalgic glow that emanates from this flick; like The Rocketeer Fuck Yeah, this movie looks and feels less like a recreation of the past and more like a fondly remembered fever dream of an idea of the past.
But is it as good as Rocketeer Comin', Yo? Well, no -- but what the fuck is? It's still pretty good, though, and would make a cool double-bill with it -- hell, let's make it a triple-feature and add Zone Troopers to that movie night. Have you seen Zone Troopers? No? Oh, come on, man, it's on Netflix Instant, you should see it. You should also see Trancers, because it's got most of the same cast and crew -- including the writers, who went on to write a movie by the name of....yup, you fuckin' guessed it: The Rocketeer Like A Muthafucka. Sorry about the mess I just made in your room from blowing your fuckin' mind right now with that. Holy shit, did that sound wrong.
In conclusion, Tommy Lee Jones is looking really old and grizzled nowadays, even for Tommy Lee Jones.
3 weeks ago